Access to health and social care services in Sheffield – key issues from October 2020

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Sheffield gathered feedback from people about access to health and social care during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The report found that people encountered difficulties accessing NHS dentists and long delays for treatment that had been paused. People reported that it was difficult to get through to their GPs via telephone and that there were mixed experiences of access flu vaccinations. Many people praised front line NHS workers. Patients and family members have felt that their complaints about mental health inpatient services are not being listened to. Mixed experiences were collected about virtual assessments and meetings. Restrictions to visiting care homes continues to be a significant issue which is impacting on residents in care homes and their relatives. On the other hand, there have been some examples of good practice in supported living services, where people have been able to have visitors, and also go out and meet family members in a public place. Healthwatch Sheffield also engaged with a group of British Sign Language users who reported that they COVID-19 has exacerbated longstanding issues in terms of accessing support. 

No recommendations were made in this report. 


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General details

Report title 
Access to health and social care services in Sheffield – key issues from October 2020
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Sheffield
Date of publication 
Thursday, 19 November, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Thursday, 1 October, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Saturday, 31 October, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Communication between staff and patients
Complaints procedure
Digitalisation of services
Health promotion
Holistic support
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Service closure
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
How was the information collected? 
Not known
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
Dentist (non-hospital)
GP practice
Mental health services 
Psychiatry / mental health (other services)
Social care services 
Assisted living
Residential care home

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Specific ethnicity if known 
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.